HI Phi Hive_top_bar_numbers
July 13, 2014 Swarm
On July 13 I vacuumed a swarm from the high eave of a clients home.
I left the container on-site for two nights with wine cork entries open to confirm that they were content and most likely with their queen.
On July 15 I dumped them into my HI Phi Hive here at my home in Haiku.
They within a few days built out 4 bars of comb which they currently work in.
I check on the hive through the window daily as it is a most entertaining vantage point.
Once a week, Saturdays, I open the hive and check for cross-combing and general vigor of the hive.
I also try and photograph the bars/combs that I remove to allow me to study what’s going on from my computer screen and disturb the bees less.
The first couple visits I removed and photographed all 4 bars, but lately I’ve only removed the 2 outermost bars, to disturb them less.
To date I don’t think I’ve seen the queen but I have observed capped brood and larva on each visit which is good enough.
This hive design is a variation on the typical Kenyan Top Bar Hive with the Phi proportion incorporated into the trapezoidal cross-section. the long angled side dimension is 1.618 x the interior bottom dimension.
Side view of hive with window closed
Side View of hive with window open.
27 top bars are in place, with two partitions.
All that’s left to do is a good massaging of the interior with a bees-wax/lemongrass oil/turpentine mix,
and hope for a swarm !
And of course the whole thing is made from re-purposed ‘bound for the dump’ shipping pallets!
#1 of 3 photos of same side of Top Bar No. 4
Is this Brood ?
Can you see the queen ?
2 week old new swarm in new hive, comb building in progress on 6 top bars.
On August 15 a swarm of bees landed on a plastic trash can at a friends house. I gathered up my hive and a bunch of honey filled comb from a hive in the wall of a house I’ve been attempting to extricate with little luck. Set it up next to the swarm, dumped the bees in and within an hour or so they had bees on the landing pad fanning pheromones. Quite a lovely scene.
Ten days later, they had produced comb on at least 4 top bars and bees are returning with huge balls of brightly colored pollen . . .
Hive in progress: Based on Phil Chandlers recommendations I’ve since added four 3/4″ / 19mm (wine corkable) entries to the hive and closed off the bottom entry, and three ventilation holes of the same size to both ends of the lid. With a small swarm inside I’ve corked up two of the four entries. There are also two sneak exits for the bees thru natural knot holes in the front, if I have to move the hive I’ll just tape over them for transit.